Idaho is an explorer’s dream. From unsolved natural mysteries to country roads that don’t follow the rules of gravity, some of our state’s best destinations are strange, unique, and… a little on the odd side. For a side trip from your next road trip, check out these curious places across the state that have a little extra personality and attitude.
1. Oasis Bordello Museum, Wallace
This one of a kind brothel-turned-museum is offbeat, quirky, and historic in all the right ways. Perhaps not for the young'uns, this little gem explores Idaho's oldest "profession" tastefully and with a touch of humor. Feathered boas abound, but you'll also get a fascinating taste of the time period itself, back when the
was operated by Madame Ginger in the 1800s.
2. Gravity Hill, Grangeville
In an eerie sensation that seems to defy physics, here, you can put your car into neutral and roll uphill... against gravity, and picking up speed as you go. This
is also found in Post Falls as well, and makes for a perfect first date experience!
3. Black Magic Canyon, Shoshone
This strange and wonderful
volcanic river canyon
in Southern Idaho is not only a perfect family-friendly hiking trail, it's also a natural sculpture garden and incredible piece of artwork in itself.
4. Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood
This "strange and noble undertaking" is not only the largest (and only) beagle-shaped B&B in the world, it's also a truly unique place to catch a wonderful night's rest, explore the works of art around every corner, and enjoy the peace and quiet of rural Idaho in the best host company possible.
5. Submarine in the Desert, Arco
The fin of the USS Hawkbill, a former national attack submarine, is a strange sight resting in the desert of Arco after being decommissioned in 2000. Often referred to as the "devil's boat" because of the SSN on its hull, this historical remnant was dedicated to the town of Arco in celebration of its Atomic Days, and partially in tribute to the feat of nuclear propulsion for subs which began in Idaho.
6. The Sluice Box, Idaho City
What looks from the outside like a hoarder's delight is actually part antique shop and part historic landmark... and it's simply overflowing with history (literally).
The Sluice Box
originally opened in the 1970s in downtown Idaho City, but was rebuilt by hand in its new location by owners Ruthie and Larry Carter after a fire. The interior is a maze of rooms and display cases, each housing vintage trinkets and finds that you won't see anywhere else, while the top level is rumored to be haunted. Shop here, and all other antique stores will pale in comparison.
7. Celebration Park Petroglyphs, Melba
Idaho is full of stunning Native American history, and Celebration Park in Melba is Idaho's only geological park where these beautiful ancient drawings are displayed so prominently. Rather than painted, petroglyphs are carved into rock surfaces and can depict anything from hunting parties and maps to geometric symbols of unknown meaning. The images date as far back as 10,000 years ago and new Native American petroglyphs are continuously being discovered across the to reveal new peeks into Idaho's Paiute history.
8. Museum of Clean, Pocatello
Unexpectedly unique, Don Aslett's Museum of Clean isn't just a collection of vintage vacuums and brooms -- it's an entire concept. Paintings, statues, and, of course, cleaning supplies abound, but the idea of clean eating, clean thinking, and overall cleanliness will take your breath away from the moment you walk into the massive space. It's the only museum like it in the country -- and it's right here in Idaho.
9. Freak Alley, Boise
This truly unique outdoor art gallery in Idaho's capital is constantly rotating pieces and adding submissions. This stroll through the shaded alleyways of downtown is an immersive experience that showcases both talent and quirky, raw artistic vision.
One of the best things about Idaho is that our landscape and towns have such unique stories to tell, and these “weird” attractions are just a small taste of our state’s diversity, history, and personality. What other curious or strange places would you add to this list?